Best Albums of the 1980s

Listed below are the best albums of the 1980s as calculated from their overall rankings in over 53,000 greatest album charts.

Best albums by year or decade
Decade:
Year:
1980s decade summary
YearAlbums The number of albums from each year featuring in the greatest album charts. Score Total rank score for each year (made up of the total rank score from all albums in that year) Top Ranked Album The top ranked album from each year and where it ranks in the overall chart.
19802,141193,240
19812,182120,183
19822,142147,885
19832,156135,173
Murmur (142nd)by R.E.M.
19842,158170,360
19852,171143,913
19862,291169,505
19872,497162,001
19882,579151,356
19892,616197,232
Total22,9331,590,850

The best artists of the 1980s were The Smiths, Prince, Pixies, The Cure, Talking Heads, U2, Metallica, Kate Bush, R.E.M. and The Stone Roses.
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Buy album United States
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Year of Release:
1983
Appears in:
Rank Score:
6,916
Rank in 1983:
Rank in 1980s:
Overall Rank:
Average Rating:
Comments:
Buy album United States
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Year of Release:
1985
Appears in:
Rank Score:
6,788
Rank in 1985:
Rank in 1980s:
Overall Rank:
Average Rating:
Comments:
Buy album United States
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Year of Release:
1984
Appears in:
Rank Score:
6,763
Rank in 1984:
Rank in 1980s:
Overall Rank:
Average Rating:
Comments:
Buy album United States
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Year of Release:
1982
Appears in:
Rank Score:
6,644
Rank in 1982:
Rank in 1980s:
Overall Rank:
Average Rating:
Comments:
Buy album United States
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Year of Release:
1982
Appears in:
Rank Score:
6,464
Rank in 1982:
Rank in 1980s:
Overall Rank:
Average Rating:
Comments:
Buy album United States
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Year of Release:
1987
Appears in:
Rank Score:
6,284
Rank in 1987:
Rank in 1980s:
Overall Rank:
Average Rating:
Comments:
Buy album United States
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Year of Release:
1985
Appears in:
Rank Score:
6,043
Rank in 1985:
Rank in 1980s:
Overall Rank:
Average Rating:
Comments:
Buy album United States
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Year of Release:
1982
Appears in:
Rank Score:
5,967
Rank in 1982:
Rank in 1980s:
Overall Rank:
Average Rating:
Comments:
Buy album United States
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Year of Release:
1987
Appears in:
Rank Score:
5,915
Rank in 1987:
Rank in 1980s:
Overall Rank:
Average Rating:
Comments:
Buy album United States
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Year of Release:
1980
Appears in:
Rank Score:
5,906
Rank in 1980:
Rank in 1980s:
Overall Rank:
Average Rating:
Comments:
Total albums: 1,000. Page 4 of 100

Best Albums of the 1980s composition

Year Albums %


1980 117 12%
1981 123 12%
1982 110 11%
1983 97 10%
1984 103 10%
1985 82 8%
1986 93 9%
1987 86 9%
1988 92 9%
1989 99 10%
Artist Albums %


The Cure 10 1%
Depeche Mode 8 1%
Iron Maiden 8 1%
Rush 8 1%
The Fall 7 1%
The Smiths 7 1%
R.E.M. 7 1%
Show all
Country Albums %


United Kingdom 415 41%
United States 389 39%
Australia 41 4%
Mixed Nationality 27 3%
Germany 23 2%
Canada 23 2%
Ireland 12 1%
Show all
Compilation? Albums %
No 970 97%
Yes 32 3%
Live? Albums %
No 980 98%
Yes 22 2%
Soundtrack? Albums %
No 990 99%
Yes 12 1%
Popular  Charts
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4. 100 Best Albums - 2024 Edition by Apple Music (2024)
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6. Top 100 Albums by ABC (2006)
7. The Definitive 200 by National Association of Recording Merchandisers (2007)
8. Virgin All-Time Top 1000 Albums by Virgin (2000)
9. The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time by Consequence of Sound (2022)
10. The Greatest Rock Albums by uDiscoverMusic (2015)
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12. Die 100 Alben des Jahrhunderts by Spex (2000)
13. Mojo Readers: The 100 Greatest Albums Ever Made by Mojo (1996)
14. Die 100 besten Platten des Jahrhunderts by Wiener (1999)
15. Greatest 100 Albums of All Time by The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums with NME (2006)
16. Die 20 besten Alben der Geschichte by Musikexpress.de (2011)
17. The 300 Greatest Albums of All Time (1-100) by Paste (2024)
18. The 100 Greatest Albums Of All Time by Absolute Radio (2012)
19. Die 100 besten Alben der Musikgeschichte by radioeins (2019)
20. 100 Greatest Albums Ever by Q (2006)
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